Brett Blume

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) –  The Missouri Department of Transportation wants its day in court when it is sued over injuries or deaths blamed on defects in state roads.

The highway agency contends it is paying out millions of dollars more than necessary because of arbitration rulings against it.

So the department wants to be able to take its chances before a judge and jury.

Legislation considered by a Senate committee this past week would repeal a 1999 law that allows plaintiffs to decide whether to submit their cases to binding arbitration instead of a jury.

The bill would require lawsuits to go to arbitration only if the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission agreed to it.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved


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